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If I were a carpenter...

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Jul 20, 2005.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    <strong>July 20, 2005</strong>
    Source: <a href="http://www.sdboltreport.com/">SD Bolt Report</a>

    One of the Chargers' primary goals this offseason was to improve their depth along the offensive line. To that end, the Chargers spent their final three draft picks this year on OT Wesley Britt, OG Wes Sims and C Scott Mruczkowski.


    Although such an infusion of talent is always nice, it also means veterans Leander Jordan, Bob Hallen, David Brandt and Kris Dielman may each be cut before opening day. Even though their releases would open the door for some good, young talent, it would also leave the team quite inexperienced across the line. Keep in mind that starters Toniu Fonoti, Nick Hardwick and Shane Olivea each have two years playing experience or less.

    So here's what the team should do: First, they should go ahead and trade or release Jordan, Hallen, Brandt and Dielman. After all, if the Chargers were comfortable with them in reserve they wouldn't have drafted three straight offensive linemen to close out the draft. Then, to fill their need for a veteran presence on the line, the team should bring back Vaughn Parker.

    At thirty-four years old, Parker should still have a good year or two left in him. He should also now be fully recovered from the knee injury that ended his 2003 season after only three games, and delayed his return in 2004. After signing with the Redskins in October of last season, Parker appeared in only one game, meaning his knees have had plenty of time to recover.

    The fact that Parker is now recovered is vital, as he has proven to be a dominant performer when healthy. Although undersized for a right tackle at six-foot-three and 300 lbs., Parker uses stellar technique combined with veteran guile to create movement in the running game. Against the pass he has shown the ability to be a dominant protector, utilizing quick feet and good hand placement to stonewall most would-be pass rushers.

    At this point in his career the Chargers wouldn't sign Parker expecting a Pro Bowl-caliber performance. His best value would be in providing terrific depth and an even better locker room presence.

    Last year, Roman Oben and Mike Goff helped the Chargers offensive line overachieve as they did by taking youngsters like Fonoti, Hardwick and Olivea under their wings. Parker could do much of the same, and he could see things from the sidelines that Oben and Goff may miss while caught up in the fray. He would be like a second offensive line coach, only with the ability to step in and play as well.

    And speaking of offensive line coaches, when Parker began his career in San Diego as a second-round pick in 1994, his offensive line coach was Carl Mauck. It was Mauck who provided Parker with the foundation he needed to become a dominant lineman in this league. This means that Parker is familiar with Mauck's system, and could help the younger players adapt to it. Heck, he may even be able to give Oben and Goff a pointer or two.

    The Chargers found out last season just how important a veteran presence is in the locker room. High-character leaders such as Oben, Goff, Steve Foley and Randall Godfrey are credited with igniting the Chargers' revival last year. Resigning Parker could provide similar benefits.

    The Chargers' roster is currently littered with young offensive tackles still fine-tuning their games. Courtney Van Buren, Carlos Joseph and Britt have been selected in each of the last three drafts respectively, and each is fighting for playing time. There's also Olivea, who is still far from a finished product, despite his success as a rookie.

    Each of these players could benefit from having Parker around. After Parker got injured in week three of the 2003 season, he stuck around even after being placed on injured reserve to help mentor the team's young linemen. That is the kind of person this team needs.

    Inking Parker would be an inexpensive, low risk gamble. The reward, however, could be tremendous. In Parker's first year with the team, the Chargers went all of the way to the Super Bowl. Maybe, if the team invites him back, he could finish his career as a Charger by helping them get back to the Promised Land.

    Vaughn Parker started his career on a Chargers team that went all the way to the big game, and I'm sure both he and the Chargers would be thrilled if it ended the same way.

    Although such an infusion of talent is always nice, it also means veterans Leander Jordan, Bob Hallen, David Brandt and Kris Dielman may each be cut before opening day. Even though their releases would open the door for some good, young talent, it would also leave the team quite inexperienced across the line. Keep in mind that starters Toniu Fonoti, Nick Hardwick and Shane Olivea each have two years playing experience or less.

    So here's what the team should do: First, they should go ahead and trade or release Jordan, Hallen, Brandt and Dielman. After all, if the Chargers were comfortable with them in reserve they wouldn't have drafted three straight offensive linemen to close out the draft. Then, to fill their need for a veteran presence on the line, the team should bring back Vaughn Parker.

    At thirty-four years old, Parker should still have a good year or two left in him. He should also now be fully recovered from the knee injury that ended his 2003 season after only three games, and delayed his return in 2004. After signing with the Redskins in October of last season, Parker appeared in only one game, meaning his knees have had plenty of time to recover.

    The fact that Parker is now recovered is vital, as he has proven to be a dominant performer when healthy. Although undersized for a right tackle at six-foot-three and 300 lbs., Parker uses stellar technique combined with veteran guile to create movement in the running game. Against the pass he has shown the ability to be a dominant protector, utilizing quick feet and good hand placement to stonewall most would-be pass rushers.

    At this point in his career the Chargers wouldn't sign Parker expecting a Pro Bowl-caliber performance. His best value would be in providing terrific depth and an even better locker room presence.

    Last year, Roman Oben and Mike Goff helped the Chargers offensive line overachieve as they did by taking youngsters like Fonoti, Hardwick and Olivea under their wings. Parker could do much of the same, and he could see things from the sidelines that Oben and Goff may miss while caught up in the fray. He would be like a second offensive line coach, only with the ability to step in and play as well.

    And speaking of offensive line coaches, when Parker began his career in San Diego as a second-round pick in 1994, his offensive line coach was Carl Mauck. It was Mauck who provided Parker with the foundation he needed to become a dominant lineman in this league. This means that Parker is familiar with Mauck's system, and could help the younger players adapt to it. Heck, he may even be able to give Oben and Goff a pointer or two.

    The Chargers found out last season just how important a veteran presence is in the locker room. High-character leaders such as Oben, Goff, Steve Foley and Randall Godfrey are credited with igniting the Chargers' revival last year. Resigning Parker could provide similar benefits.

    The Chargers' roster is currently littered with young offensive tackles still fine-tuning their games. Courtney Van Buren, Carlos Joseph and Britt have been selected in each of the last three drafts respectively, and each is fighting for playing time. There's also Olivea, who is still far from a finished product, despite his success as a rookie.

    Each of these players could benefit from having Parker around. After Parker got injured in week three of the 2003 season, he stuck around even after being placed on injured reserve to help mentor the team's young linemen. That is the kind of person this team needs.

    Inking Parker would be an inexpensive, low risk gamble. The reward, however, could be tremendous. In Parker's first year with the team, the Chargers went all of the way to the Super Bowl. Maybe, if the team invites him back, he could finish his career as a Charger by helping them get back to the Promised Land.

    Vaughn Parker started his career on a Chargers team that went all the way to the big game, and I'm sure both he and the Chargers would be thrilled if it ended the same way.
     

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